On a rainy Thursday evening at Toronto’s Soho House, Common Cloth relaunched in a warm room of friends and supporters. A cult favourite brand that stopped production a few years ago has reunited – the design team is made up of three women, Amie, Kristina, and Melanie – and their fan base showed up in full force to cheer them on, despite the downpour. Packed into the stylish bar on the third floor of the private club, it was a rare moment during Toronto Fashion Week in that one could feel the anticipation and, perhaps even rarer, the love.
Previously a collection made up of fun prints and colours, the return of Common Cloth was marked with a bi-chromatic collection of black and white, with not a print in sight. The ease of wear, however, which I suspect is what made the label so popular to begin with, was still very much there. Urban, androgynous, dark – all were adjectives I heard used, by the designers and their audience, to describe the clothes. And to be honest, I can’t think of a girl – albeit a girl who could be described with those same words – who wouldn’t be chomping at the bit to wear these clothes, yours truly included.
“We’ve grown up,” said the designers of their darker collection. They also claimed to be making clothes based on what they want to wear, whereas before, in their previous incarnation, they were producing pieces they thought people wanted. Speaking in a Q&A minutes after their show, the designers answered questions from the audience through a mediator, Citytv’s Mary Kitchen and spoke to the seasonless quality of the new collection. The idea is to create clothes that one wants to hold onto, standing in contrast to the fast fashion norm.
Emphasizing the importance of their community, close friends walked in their show rather than the typical agency models (not to say they weren’t beautiful, or “hot” in the designers’ words). What’s more, longtime pal Corrine Anestopoulos of Biko – another brand that has cult-like following – designed one-of-a-kind jewellery. The Biko pieces were tough, rubber chainmail necklaces and cuffs that accentuated the urban warrior quality of the clothes.
As Mary Kitchen chimed in her introduction, “They’re baaaack.” Back and, in this reviewers opinion, better than ever.